Crime and Punishment Through Time


A. Crime and punishment in the Ancient World
The focus in this section is entirely on Ancient Rome, both as a Republic and as an Empire. Rome began as a settlement around the River Tiber but by 200 BC had gained control of most of Italy. By 100 BC Roman territory had been extended to include parts of Spain, France, Greece, Turkey and Tunisia. One hundred years later, at the time of the birth of Christ, the Republic had become an empire and the Mediterranean was a Roman lake. The Empire reached its greatest extent in the reign of the Emperor Trajan who died in AD 117(see the maps for a fuller understanding of Roman geography). The Roman Empire controlled much of Europe for over four hundred years and the Eastern Mediterranean for much longer.
Under the Republic which dates from the expulsion of the monarchy in 510 BC, Rome was ruled by elected magistrates (consuls), who were advised by the Senate, the state's permanent executive. Legislation was passed by People's Assemblies but these were directed by the Senate. Under the Empire, which dates from the reign of Augustus (31 BC to AD 14), a single Emperor made the decisions with the advice of the Senate, civil service and army. The Assemblies faded away. The Provinces were ruled by governors who were appointed by the Emperor.
i) Introduction
From the 12 Tables of 451 BC to the million words of the Emperor Justinian's Codex of AD 528-534, Roman Law evolved over a thousand year period. Accordingly it is virtually impossible to generalize about procedure and practice. Books and articles that do (and this is no exception), do so on the understanding that different practices not only occurred at different times, but that they also overlapped and ran parallel - that is to say, two entirely different procedures might be operating during the same period of history. It is also the case that...